Raider 48 2016

The Facebook page says “Raider 48 Gravel Ride” which is kind of a lie.

There’s gravel but there’s also a fair bit of pavement, some really gnarly #1*size crushed stone trails, flow singletrack and shaded dirt road in the middle of nowhere. Also a bit of horseshit. It’s not really a ride and not really a race. I suppose one could choose to ride with a group but the steep climbs and widely varying road surfaces really space things out. After the lead group disappeared within the first 8 miles I was by myself until the pavement started at mile 14.5. A gaggle of riders on cross bikes blew past me and I spent the next 33 miles mostly by myself. I did see a huge gaggle of mountain bikers flying down Nancy Town Lake road on their day 1 Spring Classic ride. I’ve linked the page I found for this below but I’m not really sure what it is? A group ride but I don’t see a sponsoring club?

Anyway, I had a lot of fun. Got a pinch flat from a golden rock right before the paved section at mile 31 and in the space of 5 minutes had two motorists stop to help. As usual I ran out of water and really cracked on the last climb, my rear tire was slowly losing air and the mini-pump I had was worn out (protip: don’t buy plastic barrel pumps!) so I did most of the last 10 miles at a significantly less than ideal tire pressue. I’d really like another crack at that Old Lake Russell road climb. It’s a real gem.

Oh and my front shifter was pretty much broken. Would barely upshift and downshifts could only be made by double/triple clicking past the gear and then working up. Tough mental hurdle to overcome, I even stopped to adjust the cable tension at the bolt and then fine tune with the tension adjustment knob on the shifter but it didn’t make much difference. I’m going to just replace and tune up before Ft. Yargo.

After the race I had a rider introduce himself and say he recognized my bike from this blog. Kinda of funny and really cool. If you see this, thanks for saying hi!

Afterward we ate at a place called the 2 dog cafe in Gainesville. I’m going to stop here after all my North Georgia races from now on. They make most of their items in house and the food was absolutely phenomenal.

*(Crushed stone #1 – Sizes are from 2″ to 4″. The largest of the crushed stone grades. For larger jobs such a culvert ballast.)

Pics From Here:


Spring Classics?

Century ride – 5/31/2014

I wanted to have a record of this ride so I could keep track of nutrition and other factors on longer rides.

Since the previous week’s Dunwoody Cycling High School Ride had gone so well I decided to go ahead and commit to making it a century. I woke up a little underslept but was on the bike right on schedule at 5:30. The first two hours were rough. I felt okay exertion and power wise but just couldn’t get comfortable on the bike. As usual, I skipped breakfast and ate an apple about a half hour into my ride. I missed a turn and got a little off schedule but made it to the high school right around 7:20. Spent a few minutes rolling around the nearby neighborhood and the we rolled out right on time. I ate a clif bar somewhere between 6:30 and 7:30.

I had come back north on Piedmont which is in terrible shape and knocked my back wheel into the wobbles again so a lot of my ride was stressing about that since the previous week I had spent much (most?) of the ride with significant brake rub caused by one spoke completely losing tension.

Anyway, things started out normally, slow rolled through Dunwoody and once we hit Abernathy/Johnson Ferry I made sure to move up to the front and get in the paceline as we blasted down Columns. Ended up setting times in the top 10 for a segment with 700+ rides on it!

I killed my legs climbing the Atlanta Country Club climb in way too high a gear, kind of dumb but once I committed I couldn’t downshift and had to grind up at 60-70 rpm. We regrouped as we went up Woodlawn and then I got dropped hard on Lower Roswell. I just couldn’t get back onto the paceline after taking a pull. I rode solo to the mid-ride rest point at the Roswell Riverwalk, which was ok. Felt like I got a really good solo TT effort in anyway. During this time I was working through a bottle of Powerade. I had run out of water before the ride started so I was kind of stressing about that since drinking just sports drink tastes terrible and makes my stomach feel shitty.

The next section through Riverside and Eves went ok. I managed to stay with the lead group on the climbs and descents but got decisively dropped on the flats of Riverside right before Roswell Road. I had a Power Bar gel with 50mg caffeine right around here, not sure if it did anything through. I think it was a little too late in the ride for caffeine. We regrouped at the light and I spent the time fiddling with my rear brake since my wheel was wobbling like crazy. Ended up opening the caliper and trying to ignore it.

The pack rolled together to Roberts and I got dropped on the second little climb and rode solo through to the high school. There were a few other riders around but we didn’t really ride together.

Once I got to the high school I trued up my wheel and started off trying to get another 25ish miles in. Rode around perimeter and then bonked hard heading south over 285 on Ashford Dunwoody. I drink my mini-coke and rode north on Perimeter Center Parkway eventually to Hammond Park where I refilled my water. I knew I would need food again as I was now all out but didn’t feel like stopping yet. I rode my regular Mt Vernon loop and got a Gatorade and Snickers egg at the gas station by Publix on Powers Ferry. I felt okay but two bonks in one day is a bit much, I did another Mt Vernon/Riverview loop and rolled around the neighborhoods by Heards Ferry until I felt I had enough miles. Checked my phone by the Riverwood School and saw 96.6 so I knew I could go home. Rolled home and managed to get to 101 miles for the day.

Whew! Felt ok but noted some minor hotspots on my left foot and a little funny feeling in my left IT band after 4.5 hours or so. I definitely need to eat more and bring more water in the future. Also noted my fit is like a racing-only fit since it’s super comfortable during hard efforts but feels not so great just riding around.

I need to add some core work and general back strengthening exercises. But all in all it was a pretty good ride.

Peachtree Bikes Sandy Springs Thursday Ride

Since I moved into the city (well, close to the city) I’ve been trying to ride more group rides. My apartment is 3 miles east of Atlanta Cycling and 3 miles west of the Sandy Springs Peachtree Bikes so there are at least a few options.
I decided to try the Peachtree Bikes ride first since the route covers a lot of roads I’m familiar with. Since today was a little cooler with a fair amount of wind, turnout was a little low. We left a little later with 5 riders. Everyone was nice and the ride moved along at a decent speed and felt pretty safe.
Managed to knock out a pretty decent interval heading up the hill on Long Island near the end of the ride. I wonder why sometimes I feel so much better after an hour of hard riding? I can almost always put in a great dig after an hour or two but trying to do the same effort at 15 or 30 minutes and I’m just flat.
Not much to do other than ponder about it since I don’t have a power meter.
After the ride I went to my girlfriends apartment and had some awesome gnocchi and red wine. A pretty good day.